By: Christine McPhail
In celebration of World Food Days, New College at the University of Toronto ran numerous events for people to learn about agroecology, urban farming, and many other topics. World Food Day marks the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
One of the events TYFPC members attended was a permaculture workshop, which was facilitated by Toyin Coker from Permaculture GTA. Students and community members gathered to create a learning garden at new College that would be based off the principles of permaculture.
There was a lot of dead plant matter left over in the garden from months past but instead of raking it up to be composted, we used the dead planter to make pathways. Toyin explained that by reusing the plant matter we were restoring energy and nutrients back to the garden. We created tiers for herbs in the corner of one of the plots and we dug out little paths in the soil so that when it rains the water is contained in the garden. This helps the garden keep moisture naturally and it also reduces the maintenance needs of the garden. We planted various bulb plants using the principle of companion planting so that the garden would flourish all on its own.
Permaculture focusses on bringing balance back to systems. Toyin discussed how permaculture is more than just an agricultural phenomenon. Permaculture is also a foundation of brining balance back to communities of people. It is an avenue for social justice and especially food justice.
The garden at New College is meant to be a learning space and is open to everyone so please feel free to come by and take a look!
To learn more about:
Permaculture GTA visit www.permaculturegta.org
Permaculture Principles visit www.permacultureprinciples.com/principles/